Martin Luther Mosaic


A large impressionistic mosaic of Martin Luther was designed and created by Mr. Thursten Munson of the firm of Munson and Mallis, designers of the parish building. It contains 140,000 pieces of specially cut Venetian glass. Measuring 12 x 22 feet with a linear interweaving of three colored lines through the composition laid upon a large triangle in the center of the panel, it took eight months to create. It is placed upon the educational wing of Bethesda to emphasize Luther’s contribution as an educator as well as a reformer.

The center depicts Luther preparing to nail his 95 Theses to the Church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. This was a common way of stating one’s articles for debate. Martin challenged the teachings by John Tetzel concerning indulgences. This date is generally used as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and the effort to return to Scripture as the basis of one’s own faith and for the teachings of the Church.

Surrounding this central theme are scenes from Luther’s life: his birth in Eisleben (upper left), studying for the Law in 1483, ordained as an Augustinian priest in 1505, receiving a Doctor of Theology degree in 1512 and teaching at the University of Wittenberg (left) and his prostrating himself before the Bishop are depicted on the (lower left).

As Martin Luther studied the Word of God (lower right corner) and visited Rome he questioned the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

He also debated with Roman Church leaders. He was called to an assembly (or Diet) at Worms to appear before Emperor Charles the Fifth. Traveling by horse he reached the Diet and refused to recant or take back his writing. The scene (right side) depicts Luther’s clear and open stand and words on April 17, 1521.

Luther was taken to Wartburg Castle (right side) where he continued to study and write, translating the New Testament into the language of the people, German.

Martin Luther married Kathryn Von Bora in 1525. They had three sons and three daughters (upper right). He died on February 18, 1546.

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